Shock While Working On Dryer Question ?

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  #1  
Old 05-11-06, 06:55 AM
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Shock While Working On Dryer Question ?

Hello:

Have the typical Kenmore electric clothes dryer.

While oiling a drum roller underneath, I received a pretty good electrical shock. Really surprising, as I wasn't touching anything other than the frame.
Was spraying a bit with WD-40 when it happened. Seemed like such an innoculous thing I was doing, I didn't bother unplugging.

Wasn't touching any wires or other parts, to the best of my knowledge.
Plenty of room underneath to avoid them.

It was plugged in with the heavy 3 prong 220 plug.
I guess one of these prongs is the Neutral, and the other two are for the the two, 220 V phases.

Questions:

a. What likely was the reason for the shock ?
Could it be a voltage between the neutral and a real
ground (thru me) ?

b. Should I run a wire from the dryer case to a good cold water pipe for a safe tyground ? Is this a safe and good idea having this "extra", true ground as well as the plug's Neutral prong ?

Thanks,
Bob
 
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  #2  
Old 05-11-06, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert111
While oiling a drum roller underneath, I received a pretty good electrical shock. Really surprising, as I wasn't touching anything other than the frame.
Was spraying a bit with WD-40 when it happened. Seemed like such an innoculous thing I was doing, I didn't bother unplugging.
This was a not too smart thing to do.


Originally Posted by Robert111
a. What likely was the reason for the shock ?
Could it be a voltage between the neutral and a real
ground (thru me) ?
You sprayed a hot part of the circuit.


Originally Posted by Robert111
b. Should I run a wire from the dryer case to a good cold water pipe for a safe tyground ? Is this a safe and good idea having this "extra", true ground as well as the plug's Neutral prong ?
No. This would be even less smart then working on it while it is plugged in.
 
  #3  
Old 05-11-06, 08:57 AM
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Almost all appliances have hot components inside whenever they are plugged in whether the appliance is turned on or not. Additionally, the control circuits of appliances often switch neutrals and sometimes use them as hot conductors. You must be extra careful working inside an appliance cabinet and always de-energize the machine.
 
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Old 05-11-06, 05:17 PM
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To have received a pretty good shock as opposed to a tingle indicates to me there was good chance that as you sprayed with the metal can in one hand, you were balancing yourself or otherwise holding onto the dryer with your other hand, and the current went up the spray and into the can and into your right hand and traveled out your left hand into the machine's case. In this way you were completely in the loop, which is very bad. Think and try to remember if maybe you did that. I am curious.

Hopefully your dryer at least has a good neutral connection with the case jumpered to it. (You may want to check that out)

[You don't have to read the nest part if you don't want, as it is story telling.]
...................................................
I once took a full hit of 120 when I stupidly chanced a ceiling light replacement in a colege rental about 18 years ago, and I simply had the light switch off, and took down the old light and tested for hot wires in the ceiling box = no. And as I had one hand on the bare black wire end, and my other hand on the white bare wire end (I can't remember why I was even in that compromised situation), this college girl got up the stairs without me hearing her and she reached around the corner and turned on the light switch. I got the entire 120. I was caught in the loop. It did not tingle, buzz, or any of the other sensations you associate a shock with. This hit me in the chest like a thud sensation. A big thud. I cursed at the girl and said she could have killed me. (But in reality, was my own stupid fault.)

Another time I caught myself on fire as I was spraying anti-rust spray inside a rusted washing machine, about 6 feet away from a gas water heater, aiming the spray AWAY from the water heater. But this was of no help, and suddenly there was this wawaWOOF sound and I saw nothing but fire.

I have told you these stories to perhaps save a life. And whenever you do anything a little out of the ordinary around electric and gas, you have to think!
 
  #5  
Old 05-12-06, 05:32 AM
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If you have the cover off any part of an appliance it needs to be unplugged.

Since WD-40 was formulated to dry out electrical equipment it is pretty unlikely the spray completed a circuit to provide a shock. It is more likely you bumped something, although even inside the dryer most connections are pretty well covered.

WD-40 is great for lots of things but it was never intended to be a replacement for the correct type of lubrication. If you have a squeeking roller then a light general purpose oil like 3-in-one is a good choice. Most dryers have a large bearing that supports the rear of the drum and a couple of guides at the front of the drum. If these are squeeking oil isn't the solution - replacement is. The only other rollers would be for a belt tensioner and a bit of oil on these would be fine.
 
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Old 05-12-06, 06:41 AM
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WD-40 will drive out what real lube is still in there, and you'll be forced to replace the WD-40 often, or lube it correctly. Oh, and unplug it before you do.
 
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Old 05-12-06, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by itsunclebill
Since WD-40 was formulated to dry out electrical equipment it is pretty unlikely the spray completed a circuit to provide a shock.
Unlikely enough that I say it is impossible. Oil doesn't conduct 120V electricity.

Either the metal can made contact with an energized part or the dryer neutral connection is substandard. Anything else is pretty unlikely.

Regardless, WD-40 is no substitute for oil or grease.
 
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Old 05-13-06, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by itsunclebill
Most dryers have a large bearing that supports the rear of the drum and a couple of guides at the front of the drum. If these are squeeking oil isn't the solution - replacement is.
As a general rule of thumb, bearing failure can not be revived for to long by adding oil. However...those rear bearings you speak consist of a nylon socket at the back of the dryer, and a steel ball socket to fit it, mounted to the back of the drum. In the replacement kit they include grease in a tube. In this particular application (of bearings), the grease lays in the socket and gets spun around the socket (which is like a holding cup), repeatedly, saving some wear for a good while, on the steel ball and partcuarly the nylon. If a person has the dryer drum out and the nylon socket is not worn down to the metal that holds it there (a prime cause of a squeak)...then one could indeed get by with greasing it some more. (Something I do quite a bit of is work on college rental dryers where these kids are constantly showering and washing/drying clothes.)
 
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Old 05-13-06, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bolide
Oil doesn't conduct 120V electricity.
Interesting. Never knew that. If I live to be 90 and by then feel I have finally learned everything...then I will be REALLy mad about having to die.
 
  #10  
Old 05-13-06, 05:46 PM
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There is always that ourside chance that a component in the unit is defective and has a slight drain to ground. Then again, I have seen the plug connected completely wrong and a power leg connected to the neutral of the plug causing the case to be a positive ground.

There is no way your dryer could have been working efficiently, if at all, with this wiring config.
 
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Old 05-13-06, 10:44 PM
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If you want to add a ground, change to a 4 wire recep and pigtail on the dryer. Be sure that the nuetral and ground are seperate issues in the junction box. on the pigtail attach the ground to the dryer frame.
 
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Old 05-14-06, 03:24 AM
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its 220v

Originally Posted by bolide
Unlikely enough that I say it is impossible. Oil doesn't conduct 120V electricity.

Either the metal can made contact with an energized part or the dryer neutral connection is substandard. Anything else is pretty unlikely.

Regardless, WD-40 is no substitute for oil or grease.
The guy said it was pluged into a 220v outlet
 
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Old 05-14-06, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by lexmarks567
The guy said it was pluged into a 220v outlet
That is totally irrelevant. And half of "220v" is 120v, so it matters not.

The point is oil does not conduct electricity. Some motors and transformers are filled with oil for cooling.
 
  #14  
Old 05-14-06, 04:36 PM
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oil

not to mention the ignition coil on your non recent car or truck which is oil filled and deals with about 20,000 volts. Also used to quench the arc in 250kv distribution circuit breakers.
 
  #15  
Old 05-15-06, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by lexmarks567
The guy said it was pluged into a 220v outlet
Also more than likely he was only shocked by 120v. To get the full 240v you must come in contact with both hots. Just because you got shocked touching 1 wire on a 240v circuit doesnt mean you can tell your friends you took a 240v hit.... cause most likely you didnt.

Ive met a few people who really liked to brag that they got shocked by 240v... its kinda fun to figure out what they were really touching and even more fun when they figure out they only got 120v.
 
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Old 05-17-06, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mdtaylor
There is always that outside chance that a component in the unit is defective and has a slight drain to ground.
In this sense all three-wire dryers are extremely defective with a huge drain to "ground".

> Then again, I have seen the plug connected completely wrong and
> a power leg connected to the neutral of the plug causing the
> case to be a positive ground.

There's no such thing as a positive AC ground.

> There is no way your dryer could have been working efficiently,
> if at all, with this wiring config.

So you suggested a problem and ruled it out in the same post.

For the record, there is no way that the shock was caused by cat fur in the lint screen either. But you didn't rule out static electricity.
 
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Old 05-17-06, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by lexmarks567
The guy said it was plugged into a 220v outlet
You never get a 240V shock by touching a dryer frame with a metal can. 120VAC RMS is the theoretical nominal maximum. In fact, getting a 240V shock via any accidental contact in the bottom section of a dryer is very unlikely and probably impossible.
 
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Old 05-20-06, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
That is totally irrelevant. And half of "220v" is 120v, so it matters not.

The point is oil does not conduct electricity. Some motors and transformers are filled with oil for cooling.
BUT the metalic elements in it do.

Does "NON-CONDUCTIVE" ring a bell?

Pull the spark plug out of your mower,(and leave it in the wire) then pull the cord while spraying "W-D40" on it and let us know what happens.
TRIVIA:
While we're at it....... What does "WD-40" stand for?
 
  #19  
Old 05-21-06, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bolide
In this sense all three-wire dryers are extremely defective with a huge drain to "ground".

> Then again, I have seen the plug connected completely wrong and
> a power leg connected to the neutral of the plug causing the
> case to be a positive ground.

There's no such thing as a positive AC ground.

> There is no way your dryer could have been working efficiently,
> if at all, with this wiring config.

So you suggested a problem and ruled it out in the same post.

For the record, there is no way that the shock was caused by cat fur in the lint screen either. But you didn't rule out static electricity.
I was putting things in terms I thought HE would understand.

Wire that 220v socket wrong and have 120v going to the motor and heating coils and one leg of that 220 to neutral would put a hot wire on the case of the dryer. And you get a shock when touching any part of the case, at times.

It's possible. I've seen it happen on a stove top. It's just a little less likely to occur in a dryer because the problem would have shown itself in another area.
 
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Old 05-21-06, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee
.....and let us know what happens.
Sorry junior, I've been hit by way bigger coils than a lawnmower. I don't think I'll try any of your stunts risking it on purpose. Besides, WD is not oil!

ALso, I really don't care what wd-40 stands for. The stuff is crap and only good for removing sticker goo.
 
  #21  
Old 05-21-06, 05:31 AM
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We've beaten this topic to death. Enough.
 
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